Family and councillors have been paying tribute after the sad death of popular councillor Jim Blagden.
Councillor Blagden, nicknamed “Gentleman Jim” died aged 74 after a battle with cancer. Jim was a councillor for Hucknall Central on Ashfield District Council.
He was also Chairman of the Ashfield Independents. He recently spearheaded the Council’s response to COVID-19 and was Assistant Cabinet Member for Corporate Communications and Environmental Improvements.
Jim lost his battle in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He leaves his childhood sweetheart and wife of 55 years Sheila, his beloved family and his residents of Hucknall.
Councillor Bladgen, 74, a former master bricklayer, a former First Aid Instructor at St John’s Ambulance and a former caretaker at Spring Street School, Ogle Street, Hucknall had the all clear from leukaemia earlier this year but the cancer returned.
Speaking earlier this year after getting the all clear – Jim said:
“When I received the leukaemia diagnosis – I had to think of my family and what they’d already gone through with the sad death of our grandson.
“I never told a single constituent I had cancer – they had their problems and it was my job to deal with their problems – not for me to burden them with mine.
“When I rang that bell – I rang it for Sheila – after all these years of marriage – we’re still like teenagers.
“I rang it for my family who had suffered enough from cancer issues. I rang it for my grandson Aeron.
“I rang it for every patient who is still going through the cancer journey. I rang it for the people of Hucknall.”
Jim’s son – Calvin Blagden, speaking on behalf of the Blagden Family said:
“Dad was a wonderful father and grandfather.
“We are so sorry that he has lost his fight.
“He was the rock of our family and will be sorely missed by everyone. Jim was a principled man – someone who fought all his life for not just his family but for everybody in Hucknall.
“Dad was a man for the people of Hucknall.
“He worked so hard for them.
“Whether that be the children at Spring Street School, people who he looked after when he was on ambulance duty or the people he represented as a Councillor.
“He always felt that he had to earn the right to represent his neighbours in Hucknall. He never felt he had a divine right to be a councillor.
“He felt privileged to represent Hucknall. Hucknall will be a poorer place for dad’s passing.”
Ashfield Council Leader Jason Zadrozny said:
“Jim was an inspiration.
“When he told me he’d been diagnosed with cancer – his first thought was for Sheila, his family and for the residents of Hucknall.
“Jim had drive and determination and fought for the town he was proud to represent. During COVID – it’s no exaggeration that his work saved lives.
“He fought and delivered a vaccination centre at Rolls Royce Leisure, hand sanitisers in council-run car parks and helped dozens of Hucknall business survive through the pandemic. My thoughts go out to Sheila and the family.”